Setting Boundaries with Our Time
Written by Katelyn Coon
Across the board, most people want more of one thing they think will ultimately give them a better life. Something that will allow them financial freedom, more happiness, a healthier lifestyle, more opportunities for their children and so on. You guessed it. Money. For the majority of folks, money seems to be the answer to all the problems. Louise Hay, a beloved motivational author and speaker, created multiple affirmation systems to help change people’s belief systems and physical ailments.
(If you haven’t heard of her, I highly encourage listening to her 101 Power Thoughts.) One thing she frequently addresses is how difficult it is to change one’s belief systems about money. Those money thoughts are ingrained deep within our brains. I can attest to the struggle those pesky financial concerns bring up.
One problem in particular, for me, concerns my stepdaughters and family. I’m often weighed down by questions like, “How will I have enough money to give them the life I dream for them?” “How can I give them enough attention with my busy schedule?” and a big one, “How can I do the things I want to do, and also be able to let them do the things they want to do?”
Money sounds like a great answer. The answer to all answers, right? I want to offer a different solution for you. Time.
Time is an incredible tool. It does not have to be a hindrance, nuisance or stressor in your life... which I know is how a lot of parents, in particular, view time. Somehow there is just never enough of it for all the things.
When I think of time as a tool instead of something I can’t control, I instantly feel empowered. Try this simple exercise: Close your eyes, take a deep breath and think “I am so grateful for all the time I have today.” This five- second exercise can be used at any point in the day, and can allow more space in your brain for healthy thinking. Our thoughts determine our feelings. Taking little steps to manage our brains will lead to BIG shifts in our views, feelings and lives. Being grateful and adjusting our frame of mind allows our fear-driven brains to move into the pre-frontal cortex. That is where the magic is my friends.
As I mentioned, my worries about time and money regarding my stepdaughters and family often cause me terrible feelings. When I feel terrible, I usually act terrible. This leads me to a result that I did not want or intend. More often than not, these feelings stem from feeling out of control with my time – not to mention how the last five months have been. Our time has been divided even more; we’re working from home with kids; our favorites places are closed; schedules and plans have been thrown to the wind, resulting in a lot of instant change in the way we live and plan our lives.
What can we do? For me, I knew I needed to start setting boundaries with my time. Boundaries for my businesses, my family and myself. The first thing that most adults give up, is their “me” time. It seems counterintuitive to the average adult and parent that they should take care of their needs before helping others and their families. It’s a tough one to let go of.
Yet, do you notice how it makes you feel when you cancel yoga so that you can drop off little Susie at a friend’s house, or give up morning journaling because you have a pressing work obligation? I may feel happy to do these things in the moment because they are important. But if I give in too frequently, I start to feel resentful and unhappy. I need those moments for myself! So, I started scheduling time in the morning, just for me. It’s on my calendar. ME TIME. What that time looks like shifts and that’s OK, I feel good about it. There are some days when I know I have an early meeting, and so I plan a space later in the day just for me. The trick to making this happen? Honor your schedule and commitment to you! The more you do so, the more refreshed and energized you will feel, thus giving yourself the wherewithal to show up as your best self.
Once you have mastered this critical concept of honoring your commitment to yourself, it’s so much easier to master other goals. By rewiring your thoughts about time, you open yourself up to so many more opportunities in all aspects of life. If you need help getting started, reach out anytime.
Katelyn Coon is a national Stepmom Coach and local realtor in Gallatin County. She can be reached at katelyncoonmt@gmail. com. Follow her @stepbackmom, @katelyncoonrealestate.